COVID-19 has changed the world, nothing will ever be the same. In some ways, it’s more than just a microscopic virus, it’s a meteorite that will lead to the mass extinction of companies all over the world. Businesses are stopping their activity and reducing costs, but on top of all this, now more than ever, they feel forced to evolve towards new business models that will allow them to survive. In this article I’m open-sourcing and describing a possible treatment that these companies can apply in only 5 days, the Online Express ExO Sprint.
COVID-19 has had a strong impact on our society and will bring changes and consequences yet unknown. The world has changed. On one hand, we are talking about an exponential problem with unpredictable consequences (due to the own nature of exponentiality), nobody knows what will happen in the future. Normality isn’t coming back soon, it won’t be in weeks, nor months (whilst there’s one uncontrolled case, the epidemic could spread again). What we do know is that the day that we get back to normal, this “normality” will be different from what we have ever experienced before.
In these circumstances, Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change”. Some time ago I designed a methodology called ExO Sprint that has been used by thousands of people all over the world to help traditional companies evolves their business models. The methodology was published in a book called Exponential Transformationand it consists of a 10 week process. Even though the ExO Sprint is a worldwide validated methodology, nowadays with the current situation it’s necessary to do much quicker changes. So, I’ve decided to evolve the ExO Sprint and open source it so that any company around the world can apply it.
On the first hand, you can download the complete ExO Sprint methodology immediately through this link. Although, the model needs adapting in order to execute it in only 5 days and make it more effective to the current circumstances. To do this, I propose the following modifications to the ExO Sprint to execute it in an express 5-day process:
Pre ExO Sprint:
Participant selection: Find a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 people in the company to participate in the process (once you read the instructions below you will have a clearer vision of the number and people who should participate - I always recommend that the CEO takes part).
Number and type of teams: The methodology can work with one team, but you can create as many as you wish. Something fundamental is that the teams must be ExO Edge type (focused on finding new business models) and the type of initiative that you create should be ExO Edge Linked (New types of business models using existing assets of the company).
Training: The participants should invest 2 to 4 hours to learn about the Exponential Organization Model (ExO) and about how to transform a traditional business into an Exponential Organization (using the ExO Sprint methodology). In each previous step I’ve linked a video that you can watch online.
ExO Sprint online express: The fundamental idea is how to use the complete ExO Sprint process as a starting point (that you can download through the link mentioned before) and execute only the first half (weeks 1 to 5), doing the work thought out for each week in only one day, viewing it in the following way:
Explore (day 1): The current context and trends are analyzed and you look for initiatives that are taking place in our industry in other industries to get inspired.
Ideate (day 2): Several innovative ideas are thought out in each team to re-invent the current business model.
Share (day 3): Experiments are taken place to evaluate and improve the ideas with the learning’s received.
Select (day 4): The best ideas are chosen and prepared to present them internally to the company.
Disrupt (day 5): The ideas are presented; feedback is collected from the external disruptors and a plan of action is defined to develop them.
Post ExO Sprint: The methodology isn’t part of the game now, my recommendation is to launch and develop these disruptive ideas outside the current business, in a linked way, to avoid that the organization’s immune system attacks these new businesses. A methodology that can be very useful to transform disruptive ideas into a new global business is the ExO Launchpad.
External Support: The complete methodology is public and with particular adaptations to the current circumstances, so it can be executed by any company. In any case, I totally recommend certified ExO Coaches that will correctly accompany and guide the companies through transformation path.
If during the last years, transformation of companies has been a key factor, right now, more than ever, it’s imperative that companies evolve responding urgently to the new global circumstances. The Online Express ExO Sprint presents a way to save any company in only 5 days. Furthermore, remember that in these moments we don’t only have the obligation to save our businesses, but we also have the opportunity to discover new business models, reinventing and preparing ourselves for the upcoming future of opportunities. And in this sense, remember what Abraham Lincoln used to say: “The best way to predict your future is to create it".
When I designed the first version of the ExO Sprint, my intention was to create a methodology with the aim to open-source it and be able to impact the world in a positive way, and that’s how it went. Nowadays, humanity and companies face a global challenge and I’ve decided to adapt the methodology to carry-on contributing in the best way: by doing.
Actually, a good example is this global initiative, ExO Challenge COVID-19, that I launched some days ago, where more than 300 people from 25 countries came together to apply the model and launch exponential initiatives. It was an incredible experience, and once more, we demonstrated that working together, we can achieve anything. Here is the 2 minute video about the ExO Challege COVID-19 in case you fancied finding out more about the experience of this global initiative.
Humanity and companies are facing an exponential problem and the only way to deal with this situation is by creating and executing exponential solutions in unison.
Let’s build the future together!